Dorothy Fahlma Obituary-Death News; Piano Teacher Who Coached Gifted Children, Dorothy Fahlma Passes Away

Dorothy Fahlma Obituary-Death News; Piano Teacher Who Coached Gifted Children, Dorothy Fahlma Passes Away

Dorothy Fahlman had an uncanny ability to recognize talent. Dorothy understood whether a youngster had the potential to be a great piano player as soon as they walked into her Beaverton house, where she gave piano lessons to exceptional youth.

“She loved her students to be athletes because that kind of control is what a top-level pianist needs,” her daughter, Karin Fahlman Chesnutt, said.

Dorothy was looking for more than just talent in a possible student. Far more crucial were a solid work ethic and a willingness to commit.

Dorothy anticipated that her students would practice for two to three hours every day. “She could tell if they were talented by how they carried themselves,” she recalled of her daughter, “but she would say ‘I’ll take the hard worker over the talented kid any day.’”

Dorothy taught nearly 1200 students over the course of her lengthy career as a piano teacher in Oregon, some of them went on to play professionally. On October 3rd, she died at the age of 90.

Dorothy (née Pederson) grew raised in Salem as the eldest of three children in a Norwegian-American family. They resided above her parents’ burger joint.

She began taking piano lessons when she was eight years old; her father played the violin and needed someone to accompany him.

Dorothy worked in the family restaurant as a waitress, earning 35 cents an hour when she wasn’t in school or practicing the piano. But she had higher ambitions.

Dorothy was determined to attend college, despite her parents’ reservations. She became the first person in her family to do so at the age of sixteen.

She received a full academic scholarship to the University of Oregon. Dorothy desired to study medicine, but her parents objected once more.

Dorothy chose to study piano performance in part to pacify them. “Music was the compromise,” her daughter explained.

Dorothy was a fantastic pianist. “She understood music to be a conduit for expressing the heart,” her daughter remarked. “The technique, notes, and rhythms all came naturally to her.” But she could see past that, to the emotion, color, and story of whatever she was playing.

Words fall short of expressing our grief for your loss, as we mourn with family and friends for this great loss. We are truly sorry to hear of the loss of this promising being.

Please accept our condolences, and may our prayers help comfort you. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

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